Date Approved

6-17-2020

Embargo Period

6-18-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. History

Department

History

College

College of Humanities & Social Sciences

First Advisor

Janofsky, Jennifer

Second Advisor

Hague, Stephen

Third Advisor

Blanck, Emily

Keywords

Legend, Material Culture, Memory, Myth, Public History, Relics

Subject(s)

Historic house museums

Disciplines

Museum Studies | United States History

Abstract

This research examines the historic narratives of the Hancock House Historic Site, The Jennie Wade House Museum, and the Shriver House Museum, analyzing the historical accuracy of each. Each site has used historic human bloodstains and other elements of material culture, authentic and fabricated, to facilitate and support their historic narratives. The traditional Hancock House narrative, as well as the current Jennie Wade House narrative, are each sensationalized and riddled with myth and legend. The Shriver House represents a well-researched and interpreted narrative, that tastefully uses historic human bloodstains as an element of their interpretation. The evolution of each site and their interpretations represent historic trends in American public memory. In addition, this research examines the relationship of each site within the overall movement of dark tourism and argues that historic human bloodstains serve as an attractive element for some visitors as they present a tangible link to human past.

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